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Open mike 14/04/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 14th, 2012 - 78 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

78 comments on “Open mike 14/04/2012”

  1. LynW 1

    Very interesting read. Brian Gaynor’s article Why the kiwi can’t catch the kangaroo

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10798650

    Brian Gaynor summarises by quoting from a recently published United States book, Why Nations Fail by MIT economist Daron Acemoglu and Harvard political scientist James A. Robinson, which he says looks at the issues that could explain New Zealand’s poor economic performance. According to the authors:
    “Inclusive economic institutions that enforce property rights, create a level playing field, and encourage investment in new technologies and skills are more conductive to economic growth than extractive economic institutions that are structured to extract resources from the many by the few.”

    He then goes on to say “New Zealand’s original privatisation programme, in which a few individuals became extraordinarily wealthy, and our failure to regulate the 1980s sharemarket boom and recent finance company debacles are examples of political and institutional failures, particularly by the defunct Securities Commission.

    These failures have enabled a few to become extremely wealthy at the expense of the many.”

    • We need to stop attaching all our self worth to how we compare with the Australian dollar. They are very different economies in terms of markets and major exports. Australia is in the middle of a minerals boom, the same and Canada and a huge reason why both currencies are so strong against the greenback. We may have lower wages but we need to look at the other things that make this country worth living, GDP growth is not the be all and end all.

      Access to beautiful beaches, the ability to catch a fish for free, a mild climate, lots of hiking and wilderness areas and relatively low crime rates are all things we should be extremely proud of and happy about yet many NZers take this for granted.

      Richard Heinberg on creating a new economy and moving away from GDP as the be all and end all measure of “progress”:
      \
      “Bhutan has already done impressive work along these lines, beginning in the early 1970s, developing a “Gross National Happiness” indicator and continuing to refine methods of measuring personal, social, and environmental well-being. This tiny Himalayan, mostly Buddhist, kingdom of 800,000 still has a low per capita GDP, but its citizens are among the happiest in the world. The current King and Prime Minister are evidently unwilling to rest on these accomplishments; they have set their sights on global happiness.

      The conference featured opening statements from UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, the President of the UN General Assembly, the President of Costa Rica, and official representatives of France, Australia, the UK, Israel, Morocco, and Thailand. Renowned economists Jeffrey Sachs and Joseph Stiglitz spoke of the limitations and perversity of GDP and of recent efforts to develop alternatives. All the speakers seemed delighted to endorse the notion that happiness is a desirable societal goal.

      Fittingly, the boldest and most eloquent statement of the day came from Lyonchhen Jigmi Thinley, the Prime Minister of Bhutan, who observed that GDP growth is killing the planet, destroying our future, and making humanity less equitable and, on the whole, more miserable. This framing of the situation placed him on one side of a subtle (and in fact never clearly articulated) divide that persisted throughout the conference—a schism between those who see GDP growth as fine and necessary, especially for poor nations, though needing supplementation with growth in other dimensions; and those who see further GDP expansion as unattainable or undesirable.”

      http://richardheinberg.com/museletter-239-talking-happiness

      • Jim Nald 1.1.1

        Cool. I read a related piece where Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley was quoted as saying:

        “We need to rethink our entire growth-based economy so that we can thrive more effectively on our own resources in harmony with nature. We do not need to accept as inevitable a world of impending climate chaos and financial collapse,”

        and more:

        “Economic growth is mistakenly seen as synonymous with wellbeing. The faster we cut down forests and haul in fish stocks to extinction, the more GDP grows. Even crime, war, sickness, and natural disasters make GDP grow, simply because these ills cause money to be spent,”

        at:

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/02/bhutan-world-suicidal-path

  2. LynW 2

    Also encouraging to read the Herald’s editorial – Parental leave bill deserves a fair hearing-

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10798703

    “Within days of the bill being drawn from the members’ ballot, Finance Minister Bill English said National would use its veto rights to scupper it even if it enjoyed majority support. That approach is as unsound as it is precipitate.”

    “But, even more pertinently, a select committee would also consider a proposal advanced last year by the Children’s Commissioner. Dr John Angus suggesting restructuring the mix of parental leave entitlements and subsidised childcare, so they best met the needs of young children.”

    “This is not an issue in which National and Act will find themselves lined up only against their normal opponents, Labour, the Greens and the Mana Party. There is substantial support in Parliament for an initiative that would underline the importance of caring for babies at home.

    National should be prepared to allow the legislation to go through a select committee. It could then gauge public sentiment. It might also find that trade-offs and compromises produced a bill that was affordable. And it would be spared the embarrassment that would come from exercising its powers in a dubious manner to ignore the will of Parliament.”

    • Fortran 2.1

      Under Helen Clark Labour used the veto 31 times.

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        For amendments to legislation, not entire bills.
        This will be the first time a government has shown so much conceit coupled with so little control over the House.

      • lprent 2.1.2

        How many times did they veto a whole bill? Announcing that they would before the bill had even been introduced?

        You are an idiot lying with numbers.

        • Ed 2.1.2.1

          Did Labour ever exercise the veto when it even appeared possible that they would not have a majority of MPs who could have voted the amendment down in any case?

  3. Carol 3

    And here we have the “global freemarket” at work, finding ways to cheat, steal, or by-pass NZ’s (and other’s) tax laws. In the process they make a mockery of Blinglish’s plan to “balance the government books” by raising GST and lowering taxes for the rich.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/6741475/Trade-Me-global-deal-skips-GST

    Trade Me has struck a deal with a United States online middleman that will help foreign brands sell goods to Kiwi consumers through Trade Me free of GST.

    [...]
    The association estimated a “loophole” under which people can import goods up to a threshold of between $240 and $400 without paying GST or duty was costing government coffers $100million in foregone taxes. It is lobbying for the threshold to be removed.

    “We are having discussions with a number of government agencies and politicians. It is a question of fairness and equity,” Albertson said. “Why should the government subsidise overseas retailers? This is not just a New Zealand issue. This is becoming a global issue in countries where there is a significant tax-free threshold.”

    And my guess is that the goods bought through this tax rort, will be the “nice to haves” not the “need to haves”. So those on low incomes will still need to buy the neccessities for survival while paying the current GST on them.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      The obvious answer is to drop GST altogether as that would allow local businesses here to compete with offshore businesses that don’t have to charge GST.

  4. Carol 4

    And it looks like the battle for the Pacific is hotting up, involving a complex interweaving of various elements of the military-industrial complex.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/103081/joint-exercise-signals-us-interest-in-asia-pacific

    An upcoming military exercise between New Zealand and the United States – the first of its kind in more than 25 years – is being seen as a further signal of America’s renewed interest in the Asia-Pacific.

    And is this related to the intensified struggle over the Pacific?

    http://news.msn.co.nz/nationalnews/8450874/fourth-ranked-chinese-leader-to-visit

    He’s chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and will be hosted by Acting Prime Minister Bill English.

    Foreign Minister Murray McCully says the government is committed to building stronger links with China.

    Hmmmm, it seems Key doesn’t fall over himself to visit China and meet Chinese top officials as he does with the US, Obama et al.

  5. Carol 5

    The headline says it all:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6741946/No-Christchurch-rental-crisis-Pontius-Brownlee

    Though it should be acknowledge that the Pontius quote is from Lianne Dalziel. I’m waiting for someone to do the photoshop mashup.

  6. millsy 6

    Is it just me, or are councils around the country slashing and burning their way through hall, parks, playgrounds, social housing, libraries, toilets and other community own assets?

    Why isn’t someone jumping up and down about this?

    • muzza 6.1

      Public sector assets are the natural prey of the private sector as and as councils steadily go broke, and indeed become bankrupt, more and more will be “let go”.

      Assets paid for and maintained my our taxes hocked off and given away….

      • Lanthanide 6.1.1

        Councils are already bankrupt.

        There’s no way they can ever fund the borrowing they’re taking on. Anyone who imagines that in some future rates are going to stop increasing, or start decreasing, while the council can pay back existing borrowing, is dreaming.

        • muzza 6.1.1.1

          Yeah its crazy the thing I hear from people – ‘You know those warfies all earning 91K , we cant afford it, our rates will keep going up” , “Lens tran set, we just cant afford that, becuase the rates bill keep going up” etc….very simple thinking from people..

          Auckland Council assets sales where kept off the table as a funding option, but they are going to go for sure, its just a question of time…and when it does, listen to the people cheering who think their rates are going to go down following any sales….NEVER HAPPENING!

          Dreaming, spot on Lanth!

          • KJT 6.1.1.1.1

            The problem is that cost inflation,including rates, is outstripping incomes.

            And the means of keeping wages in line with costs, Unions, no longer have any power due to anti-worker legislation.

  7. In his sports column in the ODT Brent Edwards talks about “faceless critics and social media making life hell for rugby coaches” in relation to the disgraceful abuse of Pat Lam this week.

    It’s a form of cowardice. How can you judge the merit, or otherwise, of someone’s opinion if you don’t know the person or their background?

    But the personal and rascist abuse directed at Lam, and his family and players, has nothing to do with rugby and everything to do with people sniping away under cover of anonymity.

    It’s an issue which should concern all New Zealanders. It’s time for the faceless critics to shut up or be held to account.

    This isn’t about anonymity, even though it does aid some cretins. What is important is for the majority of decent people commenting online to stand up against it. Anonymous people can play as much a part in this as well as identifable people.

    Speak up against abuse, personal attacks and online cowardice and it will be less of a problem.

    Faceless critics and social media…

    • felix 7.1

      I think I’ll leave the rugby people to dig their own holes. There’s no helping them.

      • tc 7.1.1

        Yes pretty distasteful and cowardly there’s no need to bring race or other non rugby matters into it.

        His record speaks for itself, an average coach that’s one of the akl boys who has been found out without on field leaders doing his job for him.

        • Morrissey 7.1.1.1

          Lam did not have the courage to name the source of the most vile abuse. Because he lacks the courage to speak out honestly, his tears are worthless, and he deserves little sympathy.

    • felix 7.2

      ps while you’re here Pete, what’s the Hair Pete position on selling more than 49% of the assets?

      Yay or nay?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      How can you judge the merit, or otherwise, of someone’s opinion if you don’t know the person or their background?

      From their use of facts and logic to back up their arguments to which the background of the person makes no difference.

    • Morrissey 7.4

      “Faceless critics and social media”?

      Stop pretending, Pete. The worst and most consistent racial abuse directed at Polynesian footballers in this country is not from “faceless critics”. You know, and Brian Edwards know, who the perpetrators of this foulness are.

      Murray Deaker, Paul Holmes, Leighton Smith, and Tony Veitch. Every single one of them has been the subject of serious complaints about racist statements made on NewstalkZB. And every one of them has been found guilty.

      Stop pretending that the abuse is from “faceless critics”.

  8. The Economist projects NZ economy is on crash course to doom if big changes aren’t made soon. Don’t be surprised if National doesn’t get us in the black when it said it would…

    “New analysis confirms what most of us already fear – the New Zealand economy is on a crash course with doom if big changes aren’t made soon.

    Projections by The Economist show that by 2050 New Zealand would have the second highest debt as a percentage of our GDP.

    If changes aren’t made soon then the country’s economy would be in a crisis and government funding would be heavily restricted.

    Japan would have the highest debt, but countries which are currently in a dire economic state – such as Spain, Greece and Portugal, would fare better than New Zealand, the United States and Britain, according to The Economist.

    The data analysed what countries are doing to adjust spending and revenue with the aim of bringing public debt down to safe levels by 2050.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/6739607/Crash-course-to-debt-doom

    • millsy 8.1

      Yet another bloke who sit on his arse in an office all day calling for those at the bottom to make do with less so he can have more…

      He wont have anything to worry about when he retires, no doubt that he has a gold plated pension with lucrative consultancies on the side to look forward to in his golden years.

      • As much as I am ideologically opposed to social cuts we need to be realistic unless we want to end up like Spain.

        • muzza 8.1.1.1

          Depends what you mean by social cuts…actually if we just cut out corporate welfare that would be a great start…Why do people keep repeating such drivel about social welfare.

          Its social security!

          And perhaps lets look at how we are funding any boroowing, rergardless of what its being used for!

          RBNZ Audit anyone?

          • Southern Limits 8.1.1.1.1

            I’m a big fan of raising taxes.

            Spain got into the mess it is in now due in large part to unaffordable social programmes, ie pensions, retiring age etc.

            The mess we are in now is largely National’s fault for cutting taxes in the first place, but that still doesn’t make things like increasing paid parental leave more affordable. Obviously if we were in charge we would remove corporate welfare yadda yadda yadda but at the moment we’re not so we need to support policies that are economically responsible.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2

          Depends upon what you mean by realistic. The present socio-economic system we slave under is unrealistic, in fact it’s completely delusional. We really do have enough resources to keep everybody in a reasonable living standard but the socio-economic system is designed to give control (ownership) of those resources to a few rich people which is what causes the poverty that we see around us.

          • Southern Limits 8.1.1.2.1

            Draco, I totally agree. Unfortunately our delusional economic system is what we currently have to work with and so we have to make realistic decisions under that system until we can implement something better ie as much as I think increasing paid parental leave is a fantastic idea it doesn’t make it any more affordable and if we are going to be fiscally responsible that really should be the be all and end all. It’s all very well to give National shit for it’s ‘neutral tax cuts’ but in my opinion it’s just as treasonous to implement social programmes that are paid for by borrowing money from overseas, ala Spain for the last 10-15 years.

            • KJT 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Too right.

              We should be funding ourselves, like we did in the 30’s, and increasing revenue by charging the wealthy what they really cost us.

              The cause of the problem is Government undercharging for the services provided.

              Those who benefit most from the system are getting a free ride. We now have one of the worlds most regressive overall tax policies.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2.1.2

              IMO, there’s three things we need to do under current circumstances:-
              1.) Make realistic decisions within the financial system we use
              2.) Make it clear that the financial system is the problem and
              3.) Make suggestions on what to replace the present system

              but in my opinion it’s just as treasonous to implement social programmes that are paid for by borrowing money from overseas,

              I’ve been saying for sometime that the government never needs to borrow and, in fact, should never do so. It can print the money that it needs and then reclaim that money from the system via taxes. It’s the same way the present system works but it’s no longer the private banks that are printing the money and then charging for privilege (interest).

              • Definitely agree with the first three points.

                The trouble with governments printing money is that past a certain threshold it is highly inflationary. Plenty of countries have done it in the past but with mixed results. The reason the US Fed was largely successful with it’s money printing scheme after the Housing Bubble is because it is still the dollar standard and in high demand, a luxury that New Zealand does not enjoy.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The trouble with governments printing money is that past a certain threshold it is highly inflationary.

                  If it’s not controlled properly then, yes, it can be. The interesting point though is that the banks printing of money, which produces around 50% to 80% (I would supply the link to the research I read but it was some time ago and I can’t remember where) of the inflation that we see is never mentioned. As I said it’s the same system that is presently used but controlled by the government, not by the private banks and doesn’t have interest on it forcing unsustainable growth.

                  The reason the US Fed was largely successful with it’s money printing scheme after the Housing Bubble is because it is still the dollar standard and in high demand…

                  That was part of the reason and the other, more important, part was that they only gave it to the banks.

                  • “That was part of the reason and the other, more important, part was that they only gave it to the banks.”

                    That’s simply not true. You can see here the various groups the stimulus money was given to including tax rebates to every citizens well as the “cash for clunkers” program. http://money.cnn.com/news/storysupplement/economy/bailouttracker/

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Are you confusing TARP and the ARRA?

                      The Fed didn’t run the stimulus package, Treasury did. It was funded through debt. you could argue that the debt was raised through T-bills bought by people who got the money via Fed Reserve money printing I suppose, but even if that’s true, it doesn’t contradict what was said…

                    • Ahhh yup whoops. Thanks for the correction Pascal.

                • freedom

                  SL, hate to break it to you but the US Federal Reserve is a private bank. The US has borrowed every cent of its economy since 1911 when the Federal Reserve Act was passed. It is why the US Income Tax was introduced, to pay the interest, the loan itself just sits there unpaid and growing into the bloated tumor that it is.

                  • It’s a public/private conglomerate with the large majority of profit being paid to U.S. treasury. It pays a statutory 6% dividend to the member banks and the rest goes to Treasury.

                • Foreighn Waka

                  SL – After WWII – In an effort to free international trade and fund postwar reconstruction, the member states agreed to fix their exchange rates by tying their currencies to the U.S. dollar. American politicians, meanwhile, assured the rest of the world that its currency was dependable by linking the U.S. dollar to gold; $1 equaled 35 oz. of bullion. Nations also agreed to buy and sell U.S. dollars to keep their currencies within 1% of the fixed rate. And thus the golden age of the U.S. dollar began. (extract). This was the Brenton Woods system, established 1944.
                  The Bretton Woods system itself collapsed in 1971, when President Richard Nixon severed the link between the dollar and gold — a decision made to prevent a run on Fort Knox, which contained only a third of the gold bullion necessary to cover the amount of dollars in foreign hands.
                  From the Web:
                  SUMMARY OF QUICK FACTS
                  1a. The Federal Reserve (FED) is a PRIVATELY OWNED, organization. Unbelievable? Check the ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA.
                  b. Below is the list of the owners of the 12 Central Banks:
                  – Rothschild Bank of London
                  – Rothschild Bank of Berlin
                  – Lazard Brothers of Paris
                  – Israel Moses Seif Banks of Italy
                  – Warburg Bank of Amsterdam
                  – Warburg Bank of Hamburg
                  – Lehman Brothers of New York
                  – Kuhn Loeb Bank of New York
                  – Goldman, Schs of New York
                  – Chase Manhattan Bank of New York

                  • Bored

                    Most of the literature around Bretton Woods ascribes the agreement as one designed to prevent the conditions that they believed lead to depression and war. Reading the list of interested parties above you might now conclude that it was more likely a “wash-up” of international financial affairs too carry on the old imperial system under the umbrella of the new global imperial power (USA) and its vassal European states. And it leaves very little doubt who was in charge: the bankers.

                    • Foreign Waka

                      Yes, this is the case. The extremely sad part is that we finance directly and indirectly all the wars which are costing an enormous amount. 1.6 trillion (TRILLION) dollars and rising. The military expenditure has risen 50% since 2001. It comprised about 2.6% of Worldwide GDP. One can only imagine what could be done with half of it.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      If changes aren’t made soon then the country’s economy would be in a crisis and government funding would be heavily restricted.

      Which is the course that this government actually wants as it gives them an excuse to flog off the family silver (state assets).

  9. Jim Nald 9

    Lobbying Disclosure Bill – good initiative by the Greens, thanks to Wednesday’s Editorial in the Herald:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/international-politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503226&objectid=10797937

    Apologies if this Bill has been discussed on The Standard. I stumbled on this Herald piece while looking for something else (these days, I avoid reading the hard copy or online) but this Editorial is worth reading. Quite unbelievable. Did the Editorial desk get hijacked during the long holiday weekend & on Tuesday by truthseekers?

  10. muzza 10

    The next batch of brainwashed, indoctrinated Parliamentarians for Global Order from NZ!

    I know some of you here support Labour, but you need to understand that many of the past and present Labour party, and others including the Greens, have made these voyages, and spend time inside the gulags of the USA.

    There is nothing of value for Kiwis to have our money spent to send groups over, only to return as the next generation mouth piece for the corrupted systems which are exported around the world just like this – Or with bombs!

    Time people realised that their “teamsters” are little more than brainwashed, rinsed out groupies!

  11. Jackal 11

    Blobbying

    I often wonder why the mainstream media interview old blubberguts all the time. He is so discredited as a commentator and therefore not a credible witness…

    • Treetop 11.1

      I’m with you on this, as the mainstream media interview a right wing blogger and some how hope to write a fair and balanced article.

      What has happened to fair and balanced media reporting in NZ?

      • Anne 11.1.1

        What has happened to fair and balanced media reporting in NZ?

        Relatively young and ignorant journalists, reporters, producers and editorial staff who have been captured by intellectually backward right-wing a——-s such as Slater. Oh and you can throw in a few older hands too like Paul Holmes and co.

  12. We must do everything we can to keep our rail infrastructure intact.

    “Gisborne residents have turned out in force, demanding that KiwiRail sink up to $4.3 million into repairing their railway line.

    Mayor Meng Foon estimated “at least 2000″ people took part in a march through the city today in a bid to save the region’s rail link.

    The message from the march was “fix our rail” and was directed at KiwiRail and the Government, Foon said.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6743910/Gisborne-residents-march-to-save-line

    • Kevin Welsh 12.1

      I am in complete agreement SL, unfortunately we are dealing with a company that appears to be actively trying to put itself out of business.

      Because basic maintenance in this line has been neglected, we now have the situation that KiwiRail wanted all along. The opportunity to shut the line down. Their inability to do such basic maintenance, like keep culverts clear of debris, has resulted in the washouts on the line.

      A lot of work from interested parties, not including KiwiRail, has seen freight movements increase massively in the last six months.

      With the amount of forestry coming on line at the moment, road-based freight will not be able to keep up. KiwiRail has stalled repeatedly on setting up an inland port at Gisborne which will result in three rail movements a day direct to the port so loading can be done direct from the wagons, instead of two to three hundred truck movements through to Gisborne’s port involving double handling.

      If $30 million can be found to build a viaduct to save two minutes off the traveling time from Gisborne to Napier, and $15 million and counting to repair the Manawatu gorge, why can’t we find $4.3 million to repair this vital piece oh Hawkes Bay infrastructure?

      Naturally, Chris Tremain and Craig Foss will be noticeable by their absence on this one.

  13. Morrissey 13

    http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/honor-roll/

    HONOR ROLL

    A short list of Israel’s past unwelcome guestsGunter Grass is not the first prominent figure to be declared unwelcome in Israel, over the years several other famous visitors have been granted similar treatment.

    April 2012. On Sunday, Interior Minister Eli Yishai declared the German author Gunter Grass persona non grata in Israel,after he published a poem claiming that Israel is a threat to world peace.

    “Gunter’s poems are an attempt to fan the flames of hatred against the State of Israel and the Israeli people, and thus to advance the ideas to which he was publicly partner in the past, when he wore the uniform of the SS,” Yishai said, adding, “If Gunter wants to continue publicizing his distorted and false works, I suggest he do it from Iran, where he’ll find a supportive audience.”

    A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said the decision was made in accordance with the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, and that Grass wore an SS uniform in the past.

    May 2010.</b? American linguist Noam Chomsky was denied entry into the West Bank and Israel when he arrived from Amman to the Allenby border crossing,along with his daughter and two American citizens, an Arab-American mathematics professor and a professor of international relations. At the crossing, Chomsky was questioned about his identification as an anarchist and was prevented for entering the West Bank, where he was scheduled to give a lecture at Bir Zeit University.

    The Interior Ministry later insisted the decision to bar Chomsky’s entry was the result of a technical error, as responsibility for coordinating the entrance of foreign citizens into the West Bank lies with the Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories at the Defense Ministry.

    “Denying me entry into the West Bank is a minor event, but it is significant because it shows how irrational Israel’s actions are,” said Chomsky of the event.

    May 2010. Ivan Prado, Spain’s most famous clown, was accused of ties to Palestinian terrorist organizations in the West Bank and refused entry into Israel, after being interrogated at the airport for six hours by Shin Bet and Interior Ministry officials. Israel’s Foreign Ministry later said the episode caused serious damage to Israel’s image in Spain.

    May 2008. Israel bars entry to American-Jewish academic Norman Finkelstein, at the Shin Bet’s orders. Finkelstein, a prominent critic of Israel’s occupation, was arrested at the airport after arriving from Amsterdam. He was interrogated for several hours, held in a detention facility at the airport and then put on a flight back to Amsterdam. He later said he was forbidden to return to Israel for a period of ten years.

    June 2004. Interior Minister Avraham Poraz prevents the entry of British journalist Peter Hounam. Poraz said that according to information provided by the Shin Bet, Hounam exchanged letters with and sought to interview Mordechai Vanunu, a former nuclear technician imprisoned by Israel for years for revealing details of Israel’s nuclear program to the British media.

    Hounam later said Israel should be ashamed for arresting him, adding that he had been held in a “dungeon with excrement on the walls.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/a-short-list-of-israel-s-past-unwelcome-guests-1.423384

    • Foreighn Waka 13.1

      I am afraid that all these facts will not change anything whether here or the US. This is about keeping the relationships alive between the west and Israel as they are a militarized zone on the edge of the far east. Such is the price we have to pay for a peace that is based on war. And I want to add to this that I am disgusted with the latest news about Gunter Grass as it should by now be very clear that the policies regarding freedom and rights of people do not feature in Israel. There was another article recently published under the guise of official information but was disappearing fast from the news. Namely that Israel is now occupying land that holds the water wells of the Palestinians. Already almost half of the 70 odd wells have been taken to supply the ever growing occupied lands. This is another disaster in the making as unrest is sure to follow. I am certain that the excuse will be that Israel has to defend themselves.

      • Bored 13.1.1

        You often wonder why the USA has been the principle sponsor of the Zionist state, closely followed by European states. Have a look at the names of the banks who own the Fed you have posted above….one wonders. I am not sure it is safe to even mention for fear of being branded anti semitic.

        • muzza 13.1.1.1

          Well Bored, I don’t think one needs to worry about such charges along those lines being dished out, because those at the top are following a rulebook which is little to do with their perceived religion or ethnicity!

  14. Morrissey 14

    If only we knew who these racists were…

    Radio Sport/NewstalkZB, Saturday 14 April 2012
    About 1:40 p.m. ….

    “Hideous! I tell you some of the stuff is ab-so-luuuutely hideous!”

    So speaks one TONY “Boot Boy” VEITCH, solemnly denouncing the “anonymous” posters of racist filth aimed at Auckland Blues coach Pat “Lachrymose” Lam.

    If you didn’t know better, you’d think that Veitch really was incensed, and that the posters really were “unknown” to good decent folk like, errr, Tony Veitch. In fact of course, he is perfectly aware of the origin of these “hideous” comments. They have been a disturbing feature on NewstalkZB for at least a generation, and on its sister station Radio Sport since it began broadcasting in April 1998. The worst (though not the only) perpetrators of this endless diet of racial taunts are: Murray Deaker, Paul Holmes, Leighton Smith, and …. (wait for it)…Tony “Boot Boy” Veitch.

    This afternoon, playing along with Veitch in this grotesque charade are Christchurch-based commentator Brian Ashby and Prime TV’s Eric Young. Ashby, speaking in the most serious tone he can muster, says that “this racism is not just an Auckland thing.” He’s right in one way—Deaker’s sonorous declamations about Pacific Island “boofheads”, their “lack of intelligence” and their “inability to concentrate” have disgusted the citizens of Christchurch and Dunedin just as much as they have shocked and appalled Aucklanders. As have Veitch’s racist slurs against black American athletes.

    But Ashby, just like Pat Lam himself, still pretends that “we don’t know” who this “tiny minority” of racists are.

    And so does Eric Young. Young says he was initially indignant that South African journalist Mark Keohane had made comments about the anti-Polynesian comments he had heard in Auckland last year during the RWC. But then, after “reflecting”, Young “had to acknowledge” that Keohane had a point: there are racists out there.

    Now if only we could find out who they are!

    • Bored 14.1

      It does sort of leave you wondering if the people who pay for the adverts that pay for the shockjocks know something about the nature of those who purchase the goods and services advertised…….

      PS As Lomu did for rigby terminology (to be Lomued) Veitch has done for domestic abuse.

  15. Olwyn 15

    This looks to me like a good move on Labour’s part, since we do have a historical pile-up of questionable convictions. I have always been most uneasy about the conviction of Scott Watson, for instance. What is more, there is something truly vile about insisting on being tough on crime, while being casual about wrongful conviction.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10798717

    • Anne 15.1

      Yes, I saw that article Olwyn and was very pleased. That is, until I read the piece at the end :

      Justice Minister Judith Collins said there was no need for a review because New Zealand had one of the best performing justice systems in the world.

      What a pathetic response from a pathetic minister.

      • Olwyn 15.1.1

        Yes, it is sad that one comes to more-or-less expect that kind of mean-spirited, off-hand response from Collins and her ilk. In fact it would be startling if she said something thoughtful or considered.

  16. Old Tony 16

    Thank goodness the government has the courage to veto the nonsense around extended paid parental leave. If passed it would end up as the third leg of Labour’s stool (in both senses) along with no-interest student loans and the extension of working for families in comprising a huge political and economic liability that cannot readily be wound back.

    While in its nine years Labour did some good things, it is also clear that the first two of these policies have done much to blight our present government’s ability to balance its books. I for one would much rather see a cessation of the current cuts to the public service in exchange for a couple of percent applied to student loans. But politically it’s not practicable because people have structured their lives around these policies, which is why so much more care should have been taken around their introduction than Labour ever bothered to give.

    • McFlock 16.1

      of course, taxing those who have reaped most of the benefit from living in NZ hasn’t occurred to you.

      • Old Tony 16.1.1

        Of course the problems associated with making it even more attractive to leave for Australia for better wages and lower taxes haven’t occurred to you.

        • McFlock 16.1.1.1

          Lower taxesReally?
                
          No reason to not raise the top tax rate to 45c for everything NZ$180,000 over, then.
               
          It’s the shit wages that we have a problem with, and those are the result of stronger union in Aus than NZ and a decades-long neglect in NZ of actually making stuff, developing new research and educating our young. Why have we neglected these things? Because the argument was that we didn’t have the money to pay for them. And that is apparently because rich people care more about a few percent tax than they do the country that raised them.
            
          Interest-free student loans are actually one of the few steps in the right direction.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 16.1.1.2

          Do you see what McFlock did there, Old Tony? I wonder where you came by your false beliefs. Does your complete ignorance concern you, or do you cling to it like a security blankie?

          • Old Tony 16.1.1.2.1

            Yes I did see what he did there. He debated with me; all power to him. Something you are clearly incapable of.

            • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.2.1.1

              Considering the ignorance that you display I’d say that you’re the one incapable of debate.

              The government could easily afford all the policies that you mentioned – just need to readjust the taxes. Of course, this government won’t do that as it much prefers to reward rich people for being rich and punish poor people for being poor.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 16.1.1.2.1.2

              Old Tony, I asked you direct questions. Are you concerned that you are repeating falsehoods? Where did you come by these untrue notions? Have you been lied to or are you a more active participant?

              Were those questions too hard?

  17. felix 17

    I don’t like the new batch of troll handles much. They’re all faux-politeness and sleaze.

    Boring, guys.

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    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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